Day to day at work, it’s easy to feel stuck or unclear about our personal goals. Scheduling a one-on-one meeting with your manager can help you get back on track, and improve your motivation.
While they can be nerve-wracking, one-on-ones are crucial for clarifying your manager’s expectations and reflecting on your career goals.
Come prepared with a few of these questions collated below. Before you attend the meeting, ask yourself what your top priorities are, and what you are seeking more broadly in your career.
One-on-ones are an opportunity for development. Some of the questions below may seem direct, but it’s crucial that you invite managers to be honest about you can improve.
Your hard work deserves to be recognized! One-on-one meetings are an opportunity to adopt a positive mindset about work. Asking your manager about your strengths will help you leave with a morale boost.
Why do we have meetings in the first place? To improve communication. This should be the goal of every one-on-one. The questions below invite an openness to discussion, and clarify which internal communication channels to use.
Do I communicate my plans / projects to you regularly enough?
Is it possible to have more frequent check-ins for this project? My team and I could benefit from your insights.
I work across a few departments. At times, I feel I lack the information I need to do my job effectively. Would it be possible to have more openness about what others are working on?
One-on-one meetings should clarify your goals. You may want to ask your manager if they are willing to help you write down some actionable targets for your development.
What works for you when it comes to making and sticking to your goals?
Moving forwards, I would like to improve my communication skills. Do you agree that this is the skillset I need to develop?
I aim to improve my language skills for this job. Are there any language or development programs available to help with this?
Have you been holding out for a promotion? A pay rise? Now is your chance to soundboard these requests with your manager. If they seem hesitant, ensure they clarify what obstacles are in the way of your progression.
What would it take for you to consider me ready for a promotion?
What barriers are there to my progression – are there any skills I could develop to change this?
Where do you see the team in a year’s time? What do you think my role is in achieving that vision?
Sometimes when we are focused on daily tasks, we can lose the bigger picture. Ask these questions to clarify the company’s OKRs – and your role in them.
What is your priority for the coming months?
What are the biggest challenges facing the company? What will the role of our team be in this?
How can I work in a way that better assists in the company’s objectives and key results?
Some managers are better than others at the coaching management style. This means you feel comfortable seeking out their advice on issues that go beyond your day to day tasks. This helps you build a rapport that is conducive to your professional growth.
What motivates you when you are working from home?
Are there any books/ other resources that help to motivate you, or that informed your plans for our team?
How have you managed failures on the job in the past?
One-on-one meetings build trust between you and your manager. They are a chance to receive feedback and clear up any miscommunications.
Your manager should ask you questions too, that invite you to reflect on your progress. Remember, the goal is to develop an honest picture of where you are, so that you can improve.
PeopleGoal have put together some one-on-one meeting templates, which you can find here.
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